Opening doors, dreaming awake, tracing networks of music and meaning, Marlatt’s poetry stands out as an essential engagement with what matters to anyone writing with a social-environmental conscience. Rivering includes poems inspired by the village of Steveston where, before the war, a Japanese-Canadian community lived within the rhythms of salmon on the Fraser River delta. Also gathered into Rivering: lesbian love poetry from Touch to my Tongue; a transformance of Nicole Brossard’s Mauve; passages from The Given, winner of the 2009 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize; a traditional “Kuri” song from the Noh drama, The Gull; and an unpublished excerpt from the chamber opera “Shadow Catch.”
Difficult, beautiful, heart-breaking realities of the twenty-first century are urgently immediate in selections from Liquidities: Vancouver Poems Then and Now. All of the poems speak to Marlatt’s poetics of place and of language as passage between distant or disparate human beings, and between human beings and the more-than-human world. The selections are framed by Susan Knutson’s deeply attentive critical introduction and by Marlatt’s “immediacies of writing,” a new lyrical essay investigating the act of writing. Closing with a walking meditation situated by her Buddhist practice, Rivering is both a “pocket Marlatt” and an introduction to one of the best poets of our time.
About the authors
Daphne Marlatt was at the centre of the West Coast poetry movement of the 1960s, studying at UBC and with many of Donald Allen’s New American Poets, most notably Robert Creeley. Her writing includes prose narratives on the Strathcona neighbourhood of Vancouver and of Steveston and several poetry books. In early 2006, she was appointed to the Order of Canada in recognition of a lifetime of distinguished service to Canadian culture.
Toyoshi Yoshihara is an award-winning translator who has worked tirelessly to introduce English-language works of drama to Japanese audiences. A Canadian industrialist, he has translated over seventy Canadian plays into Japanese; heads the Maple Leaf Theatre in Japan; and is an honorary lifetime member of the Canadian Association for Theatre Research.
Daphne Marlatt, poet, novelist, essayist, oral historian, and Noh dramatist, has been writing and publishing for four decades. Her many titles include Vancouver Poems, Steveston, and most recently, Liquidities: Vancouver Poems Then and Now, as well as the novels Zócalo, Ana Historic, and Taken. Her novelistic long poem The Given received the 2009 Dorothy Livesay Award. She was awarded the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in 2012.
- Unknown, Listed as one of the best books of 2014 by 49th Shelf